Ryan Martin, 29, is recovering from a bullet to the face that broke his jaw. First Deputy District Attorney Fran Chardo said Martin and 20-year-old Erica Clayburn were playing a game they had played in the past, but this time the gun was loaded.
"She would close her eyes with a pistol in her hand. He would go somewhere in the room, say 'gun,' and she would have to open her eyes and dry fire the pistol," Chardo said.
Martin and Clayburn were charged with reckless endangerment and conspiracy. Clayburn is also facing simple assault charges. Both were released pending a preliminary hearing next month.
"It is incredibly stupid, and stupidity is no defense to a criminal charge," Chardo said.
The shooting happened last month at Martin's mother's home in the 100 block of Areba Avenue, where he and Clayburn had been living. Martin's young nephews were not home at the time.
"I blame both of them for playing with guns and being stupid," said Martin's sister, April Tucci. "It's taken a huge toll on our mother. My children were definitely spared. Thank God they didn't have to witness it."
Martin's cousins were home next door. The 9- and 11-year-old were just on the other side of the duplex wall.
"This bullet could have passed through a wall and could have harmed, could have killed someone in the adjoining unit," Chardo said.